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Thread: What have I got?

  1. #1
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    What have I got?

    About 25 years ago, while stationed in Japan, I bought some chisels at a local (Naha, Okinawa) hardware store. Prices at the time were very reasonable - especially at 263 to $1.00! Over time, I bought about fifteen of them, ranging in size from 6mm up to 36mm.

    I already know that they're not one of the 'great' Japanese brands - after all, they were hardware store stuff. Even so, they're orders of magnitude better at taking and holding an edge than any of my Marples, or other, American chisels.

    I'm hoping that Stu, Greg, or somebody else who reads Kanji can tell me something about the manufacturers, from the pictures below:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 3 Chisels.jpg   Chisel 1.jpg   Chisel 2.jpg   Chisel 3.jpg  
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  2. #2
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    Jim, I've studied the labels very closely. They say:

    Made in Japan



    Glad I could be of some help.

    (Good-looking chisels, BTW. I wish I had chisels that nice.)
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
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  3. #3
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    glad chuck was awake or we would have missed out on the real story vaughn
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  4. #4
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    Jim, IMHO, comparing Marples to anything is not a true indication of quality. My second set of woodturning chisels was (still have them) Marples. They fell far short of performance, by all measures, when compared to the El Cheapo, no-name imports I began with. The steel (and I use that word loosely) is so soft they can be bent easily with finger pressure. From my experience, Marples defines junk.

  5. #5
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    The first time I used Marples or any other chisels was in my Hand Tools class. I learnt to sharpen chisels on Marples. I know they are not of the best quality. Now I own a set of Lie Neilson chisels and Marples, but for some reason I always reach for the Marples when I need chisels.

  6. #6
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    Jim, as far as I can tell, they are not "Famous" brands, but they are certainly good quality. I've been able to find some from the same makers on the net, but at least one of the names I can't figure out the reading of the kanji

    Name kanji can be like that, you can just about choose any reading of the kanji you want I'll have to ask my wife tomorrow.

    They certainly look like good tools.

    Are there any stamps on the blades of the chisels.......??

    The Chisel in the Fourth picture is the "Senkichi" brand, I found some of them for sale >> HERE << on a Japanese guy's site who sells tools in Oz.

    I'll do a little more looking tomorrow.

    Nothing wrong with those chisels Jim, I'd be glad to own them in my collection!

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  7. #7
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    I've got some pre-Rubbermaid Marples Blue Chips and they are very good chisels. The newer ones, I understand, have something of a consistency issue as far as the hardening process is concerned. A number of folks have been successful at hardening and then tempering them with a MAPP gas torch and quenching in oil.

    But then a buddy from Louisiana paid me a visit a few weeks back to get some pointers on sharpening and picked up some HF bench chisels to practice on. I checked their hardness with a file and found them to be quite soft. So we gave a shot at them with the torch and oil and hardened them to the point that they are at least usable. Not the greatest, but they do have enough carbon in the steel to get them decently hard. Didn't even bother tempering them down.
    Jerry

    http://www.sawdustersplace.com

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    Jim, as far as I can tell, they are not "Famous" brands, but they are certainly good quality....Nothing wrong with those chisels Jim, I'd be glad to own them in my collection!

    Cheers!
    Thanks Stu!

    For those who thought that my comparison to Marples was unfair, let me say that the Japanese chisels are also better than any of the old Stanleys and Bucks, and the (one only) Two Cherries chisels that I have. The very hard steel that's welded to the softer iron shank holds an edge better than any of my other tools.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  9. #9
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    Stu,
    I had a hard time getting a good picture of the stamping on the blades, but here's a reasonably clear shot of four of them. I highlighted the stamps with chalk for better clarity. Hopefully, you'll be able to read them.

    Also, here's a picture of the 'set' as I use them. There are six more chisels that aren't in the picture, but they're mainly duplicate sizes (12mm ~ 18mm) of what's shown.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails logos.jpg   set.jpg  
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

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